In recent years, India has emerged as an important market for automakers, driving their growth and expansion plans. The country is on the verge of overtaking major countries such as the United States and China as it is gaining more attention from automakers. Maruti Suzuki India Limited Chairman RC Bhargava recently confirmed this trend and predicted that within the next five years, India would overtake the United States and China to become a major automotive market.
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Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava
Bhargava said the U.S. and China are now ahead of India because of their larger economies. However, when it comes to the automotive industry, India is experiencing impressive growth. The company is already the market leader in the two-wheeler sector, and vehicle sales continue to grow. India has now overtaken Japan to take third place.
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Bhargava acknowledged that overtaking China will be even more difficult because the Chinese market, where car sales are growing, is much larger. For example, in 2022 in China, he will have 26.86 million cars sold, while in India he will have 20.75 million sold across all categories. He suggested that India could move forward by significantly expanding the capacity of its local manufacturing bases in the country.
Maruti Suzuki, chaired by RC Bhargava, exported 260,000 units in 2022/23. Bhargava said the figure could have been higher had it not been for production problems such as semiconductor shortages. However, once these challenges subside, Maruti Suzuki positions India as a major vehicle exporter, aiming to triple its exports from the previous year.
To boost exports, Maruti Suzuki has already announced an investment of up to INR 18 crore in a manufacturing facility to be built in Sonipat, Haryana in 2022. Over the next seven years, the new facility is expected to become the company’s largest production facility.
In addition to Maruti Suzuki, other automakers are also investing heavily to expand production and increase exports to other countries. Hyundai, for example, has announced an investment of INR 20,000 for the same purpose, and MG plans to invest INR 5 billion over the next five to seven years. In addition to their focus on internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, automakers are gradually turning their attention to electric vehicles (EVs) as they aim to expand production and exports in the coming years. Even Roads Minister Nitin Gadkari has suggested that India could become a major auto market within the next five years by focusing on electric and flex-fuel vehicles.
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